Leave with a Kalinga tattoo from Cordillera Mountains
If you love inking your body, then this one is for you. The Kalinga community sits quietly in the Cordillera mountains of Northern Luzon. Isolated from the modern society, the Kalingas are a group of tribal people who are chiefly known for their distinctive body art.
The Kalinga tattooing practice is known to be a thousand years old and the last Kalinga tattoo artist, 94-year-old Whang Od, is still sought after by many to get their dose of the dying ancient art form. Getting the tattoo is no easy task as travelers must drive up the mountainous region covered with steep gouges and deep jungles, to get to the village where Whang Od resides.
Go “ghost hunting” in Corregidor
The historical island of Corregidor is an easy day trip from Manila as it sits right at the entrance of Manila Bay. But while those who come for the day tour a few of its ruins, those who choose to stay the night get a more hair-raising experience. The island played an integral role in defending Manila during the various colonial occupations, as well as during the Second World War. Many lives were lost on the island, including those of Japanese soldiers who were said to have committed suicide instead of surrendering to the Americans.
So today, visiting through the islands’ dark tunnels and hospital ruins are accompanied by the eeriest stories of the past, and make for quite the spooky adventure.
Dine at Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant
Not many restaurants guarantee you fun in the water or have odd requirements such as disallowing footwear but the Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant does exactly that. This restaurant is located at the foot of the Labasin waterfalls which means that visitors can take a shower while they feast on the local kamayan-style buffet lunch, which includes ensalada with bagoong, lumpiang gulay and gourmet seafood. Diners who are not too keen on getting drenched completely can seat themselves further away from the waterfalls and still enjoy soaking their feet in the water.
Trek up an active volcano
If you are really up for a thrill, venture up an active volcano, the one responsible for the biggest volcanic eruption in recent Philippine history, no less. Contrasting with the cataclysmic image that took over Mt. Pinatubo and much of Central Luzon in June 1991, the journey up Mt. Pinatubo today is a scenic one. Ride through ashy-rocky terrain aboard a 4×4 jeep and trek the rest of the way up to the stunning lake.
Visit the Masungi Geo Reserve
Test your stamina and trek along Masungi’s discovery trail in Baras, Rizal. The nature reserve is situated within Rizal’s lush rainforest. The trail consists of hanging bridges, rope courses, rock formations, and peaks, which are great vantage points from which to view the lavish grounds. A discovery trail is offered for the daytime, but a night trail can also be chosen for a completely different experience. To visit, remember to make a reservation beforehand.